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Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP 1600MHz 16GB Kit Review

Thankfully, the issue of your high-end CPU cooler having the necessary clearance for the DIMM slots can be rectified by simply journeying over to Crucial.com and ordering up a new set of their Ballistix Sport VLP memory kit. Not only will they eliminate the clearance problem between the two aforementioned components, but also omit having to pump tons of voltage into the DIMMs to achieve a rather heft overclock out of them. Just how much? Well, we can’t give away all the juicy details right away, can we? Jump on in and find out!

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Thankfully, the issue of your high-end CPU cooler having the necessary clearance for the DIMM slots can be rectified by simply journeying over to Crucial.com and ordering up a new set of their Ballistix Sport VLP memory kit. Not only will they eliminate the clearance problem between the two aforementioned components, but also omit having to pump tons of voltage into the DIMMs to achieve a rather heft overclock out of them. Just how much? Well, we can’t give away all the juicy details right away, can we? Jump on in and find out!

Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP 1600MHz 16GB Kit Review

 

Introduction

When it comes to computers and “performance” there are a few things that will immediately come to mind. The first would have to be CPU, followed by memory and then cooling. Everything else pretty much falls after these three… well, unless you’re a gamer in which case a graphics card probably follows CPU, but we digress. When it comes to the CPU it is usually a no-brainer, you get what you can afford and try to get as much out of it as you can.

When it comes to ram and cooling, there too you get the best for what you can afford, but sometimes the two do mix well together. This is especially true when dealing with air-cooling and memory. How often have you done research and come to find out the ram you really want will simply not fix under your CPU cooler?  Or worse yet, went out and purchased the parts you need and overlooked that sneaky clearance issue? This has been a huge problem for many of us, with coolers getting bigger and wider, and ram modules growing taller by the day.

Thankfully, the issue of your high-end CPU cooler having the necessary clearance for the DIMM slots can be rectified by simply journeying over to Crucial.com and ordering up a new set of their Ballistix Sport VLP memory kit. Not only will they eliminate the clearance problem between the two aforementioned components, but also omit having to pump tons of voltage into the DIMMs to achieve a rather heft overclock out of them. Just how much? Well, we can’t give away all the juicy details right away, can we? Jump on in and find out!

Crucial’s take on the Ballistix Sport VLP

Serious gamers are serious about our award-winning Ballistix and Ballistix Tracer products. At Crucial, we engineer these products to deliver the fastest, most reliable memory for gaming and performance enthusiasts.

But why should the most hardcore gamers have all of the fun?

If you‘re new to performance memory and like what Ballistix has to offer, the Crucial Ballistix Sport Series is a great place to start. This line was created for mainstream users and general enthusiasts. They feature heat spreaders for thermal performance — along with standard timings and voltages, making this reliable, quality module ideal for maximum stability and compatibility.

Specifications

◊  Module Size: 16GB kit (8GBx2)
◊  Package: Ballistix 240-pin DIMM
◊  Feature: DDR3 PC3-12800
◊  Specs: DDR3 PC3-12800 • 9-9-9-24 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1600 • 1.35V • 1024Meg x 64 • Low Profile •

Features

  • Designed for entry-level and mainstream users
  • Integrated heat spreaders
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Proven stability and reliability
  • Crucial: a trusted name in memory

Closer look

To begin with the new Sport VLP series all consist of 1600 MHz modules no matter the kit capacity. These kits start at 8GB, which would be 2 x 4GB modules, and go up to a 32 GB kit consisting of 4 x 8GB modules. Or if needed, you can also order individual 4 GB modules. No matter the kit capacity you decide upon, since the whole series are only offered in that single 1600MHz speed, they similarly share the same timings of 9-9-9-24 at 1.35v.

When Crucial stated “low-profile” on the specs page, they really mean it. These are by far the shortest height modules we have ever had here at Pro-Clockers. They honestly should not have any issues fitting under any cooler made today. [Editor’s Note: We’ve got a comparison shot coming up to give you a better idea about what we’re talking about. Tony isn’t exaggerating by saying “any cooler”, as for a heatsink to not have clearance for these would mean it wouldn’t have clearance for even standard DIMM latches!] 

Which, to be honest, there isn’t too much to the heat spreader on these either. It consists of a single stamped sheet of aluminum that covers up about 85% of the module on each side. The heat spreaders are adhered directly to the DRAM ICs.

Testing Begins

Testing Hardware:

1. Asrock Z77 OC Motherboard
2. Intel Core i5 3570K Processor
3. Crucial Ballistix VLP 1600MHz 16GB
4. Kingston V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive
5. ASUS BC12B1LT BD-Rom Drive
6. Thermaltake Frio Extreme CPU Cooler
7. Microcool Banchetto 101 Open Air Test Bench
8. Silverstone Strider Gold Evolution 850W Power Supply
9. ASUS Nvidia GTX 560Ti 448 Graphic Card

Testing Software:

AIDA64 Extreme Edition
Super PI Modded 1.5
Flying Wild Hogs Hard Reset
FuturemarkPCMark Vantage
MaxxMEM 2

CPU-Z

Overclocking

We started our overclocking journey using the default voltage of 1.35 and see how high we could get the frequency. We tried using the default timings but we were not able to get the system up and running using the next DRAM frequency in our BIOS which was 1800 MHz. No go! But it was possible to up the BLCK to get some extra clocking from the set. No fun! So, we moved to up the timings to 10-11-10-27. 1866 MHz would boot but was not stable. 1800 MHz was not problem and this including running Super Pi for stability.

Most of the times I try to keep my timings lower than CAS 11 as I think it is a happy medium between a higher frequency and good timings. The goal next was to try and get the system to boot and be stable at the ultra low voltage of 1.35 and run 2133 MHz. Unfortunately I didn’t happen. Even upping the voltage to 1.4 only got us to 2000 MHz.

We were not able to get to the 2133 MHz plateau until we loosen the timings to 11-12-12-35. Actually the exact frequency was 2200MHz, and it was done at 1.5 volts. Even 2400 MHz being bootable, but unfortunately it wasn’t stable for our particular kit. 

Results

AIDA64 Extreme Edition
“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.
The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge
processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.”

Super PI Modded 1.5
“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

Flying Wild Hogs Hard Reset
“Thee world as we know it ceased to exist. Humanity is at the verge of extinction, living in the last closed city of Bezoar. Mankind wages war against the machines controlling vast areas of what became the ‘Barrens’. Machines want to control and assimilate ‘The Sanctuary’ a network that holds billions of digitalized human minds. Our hero, Maj. Fletcher, is a soldier of CLN – a corporation combat unit, established to protect the city. Machines are constantly assaulting the walls of Bezoar. Fletcher moves in when Bezoar’s protective barrier is breached.”

FuturemarkPCMark Vantage
“PCMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed for Windows Vista offering one-click simplicity for casual users and detailed, professional grade testing for industry, press and enthusiasts.
A PCMark score is a measure of your computer’s performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security.
From desktops and laptops to workstations and gaming rigs, by comparing your PCMark Vantage score with other similar systems you can find the hardware and software bottlenecks that stop you getting more from your PC.”


MaxxMEM 2
“Is the *little brother of MaxxPI², it contains the same Memorybenchmark routine as MaxxPI² does.
So your reaced results will be comparable to Memory / Latency benchmarks done by MaxxPI².”

Conclusion

The Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP series is a great set for all walks of life. Not matter if you are an average PC user or and an overclocker. With the aid of XMP you can just install an individual stick or kit, select the proper setting in your BIOS and go. For those that are a little more daring, you can play around with the timings and voltage and take them beyond the manufacturer specifications and get more for your money.

We took the overclocking route in stages and fall the kit to respond well as we went along. 2000 MHz and up was no trouble for this set as you can see from our results. And one most remember the series only comes in 1600 MHz, so you are being gifted a lot for less.

The VLP allows for easy trouble-free installation no matter you cooling situation. And this is because of its very low-profile stance. Many of today’s cooler embark into the space where our memory slots are. This is common so we have to be very selective when it comes to purchasing these two pieces of equipment. With this kit the ease of selection is greatly increased. As you will not have a problem at all with these. At Newegg we found the series ranging from $22 a single 4GB stick to $165 for a 32GB kit. Our test sample was priced at $78.

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ProClockers was founded in 2004, and since then we have reviewed thousands of tech products, including motherboards, CPUs, graphics cards, PC cases, cooling solutions and more. Whilst many of the original products we reviewed back then have long bit the dust, we continue working hard to provide unbiased PC hardware and tech reviews.

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